Hartford’s reknowned art museum and performing arts center are keys to a new pedestrian plan for downtown.
Hartford, September 2009–In back-to-back presentations to the trustees of the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts and the Wadsworth Atheneum, two of Hartford’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, Doug Suisman highlighted the most recent features of the “iQuilt”, the culture-based pedestrian plan for downtown. Envisaged as a loose grid of park-to-river pedestrian routes, the iQuilt aims to weave together Hartford’s key cultural sites and institutions around the theme of cultural innovation in order to promote economic growth and the redevelopment of the Capitol district. The Bushnell and The Greater Hartford Arts Council are co-leading the project, which will complement the ongoing state, city and private sector efforts to revitalize Hartford’s economy and neighborhoods. The planning process for the iQuilt project began in mid-March 2009 with a series of three roundtable discussions between interested stakeholders, community leaders, Suisman, who is a Hartford native, and architect Tyler Smith. A public forum hosted by The Bushnell was held in June where Suisman presented the preliminary vision plan to the community. The planning process will culminate with the development of a culture-based vision for downtown Hartford which will focus on and connect the city’s extensive cultural assets.